So, you want an unconventional session and are hoping to incorporate all of the best elements of your story? Look no further! As a wedding and engagement photographer, I have all the best tips here to help you decide where, what to bring, and what to plan ahead!
The venue or location you select sets the entire tone or aesthetic of your shoot. Keep this in mind when not only planning your shoot, but hiring your photographer, too! Imagine hiring a photographer known for capturing timeless elegance, but choosing an edgy, industrial venue. The photos will scream ‘industrial,’ completely overshadowing any classic elements you wanted to portray.
When you book a session with me, I’ll get to know what vibe you’re going for and suggest locations that match the aesthetic. Trust me, I care about getting the vibe right just as much as you do! As a photographer, it’s my job to work closely with you and your partner to ensure your session is everything you dreamed of and more. And a part of that is educating you on how your location will affect the entire shoot!
For example, an emerald forest backdrop might evoke feelings of tranquility and wanderlust in nature. In contrast, a bustling city scene screams excitement and adventure. Two different emotions, dictated solely by the location! This is why putting thought into the location of your photos is so important. You could have the same outfits, the same poses, and the same photographer, but the photos will come out completely different depending on the scenery!
Visualize this: one photo capturing your love amidst towering trees and another against a skyline of skyscrapers. The shift in background will create a whole new emotional palette. The location matters just as much as your radiant smiles and the sun setting behind you!
Let’s dive into one of my favorite sessions ever. Meet Casey and Matt: absolute connoisseurs of wine and fashion who weren’t afraid to add a little “edge” to their session! The entire photoshoot felt like a behind-the-scenes tour of their love story. First, we hit their go-to wine bar, where they’re practically best friends with the bartenders. Then, we moved on to an industrial backdrop that added that raw, candid vibe. Finally, we wrapped up under a vintage theater sign. You can see how all of these locations were key spots to their love story, and we were able to incorporate a sense of uniqueness and intimacy just by these places we chose.
If there are locations that play a role in your love story, I want to hear about them!! It could be your first date spot, your favorite coffee shop, the place you got engaged, or anywhere else that holds special meaning to you and your love.
Even if you aren’t planning a destination engagement session in Greece, I recommend taking a leaf out of Rae and Jeremy’s book. These lovebirds wanted nothing less than a heart-stopping Greecian sunset, coupled with a mesmerizing overlook of the water. In order to make that happen, everything was meticulously planned from the timing to the exact location, capturing breathtaking hues and evocative emotions in each shot. The outcome? Pure magic!
There’s nothing particularly wrong with throwing a shoot together at the last minute. However, if you have a specific vision for how you want your photos to turn out, then planning ahead is essential. There are so many planning aspects that go into photography that most couples don’t take into consideration – but that’s okay because I’m here to help!
These tips don’t just apply to sessions – planning ahead and taking your location into consideration is essential for your wedding or elopement, too! Take Ali and Noah’s Charleston elopement, for example. We created a Pinterest board to emulate the exact vibes we were going for and emphasized planning ahead for critical design aspects like their florals. After that, all you have to do is trust me with the rest! The timing for photos, exact portrait locations, and all the other technicalities will be totally taken care of.
Who says you can’t be the architect of your photoshoot? Gather inspo from Pinterest, Instagram, or your fave wedding blogs and look for recurring themes. Do you find yourself gravitating toward lush forests or more gritty urban landscapes? Share these details with your photographer (Hi, that’s me!), and let’s bring your vision to life!
Think of accessories as the cherry on top of your shoot. Vintage cars? Sunnies? Hand-painted champagne glasses? Yes, please! Don’t feel like you have to stick to “traditional” engagement sessions or wedding portraits. Instead, find ways to incorporate your personalities with fun outfits and props!
If you’ve found your dream photographer (hey again, that’s me!), the next step is sculpting your dream session. Let’s make your love story a visually stunning saga that you’ll be flipping through for years to come! To get in touch with me about being your photographer, you can fill out my contact form and I’ll get back to you soon with more details and next steps!